In the wake of Wednesday’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree expressed support for the Cabinet to remove President Trump from office under the 25th Amendment.

Trump encouraged his supporters to go to the Capitol in an effort to undo the results of the election and expressed his love for them after they began storming the building and forced members of Congress into lockdown. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the amendment to force Trump from office, saying Congress might move forward with impeachment if they did not.

King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said Trump’s “fomenting of yesterday’s insurrection of the Capitol was a deeply disturbing abdication of his constitutional obligations, and raises serious concerns about the coming 13 days” that remain in his term. He said invoking the 25th Amendment was an unprecedented step that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but should be considered nonetheless.

“Given the actions of the President over the last several days and concern about additional impulsive actions that could endanger the country between now and January 20th, I think this step is one that the Vice President and the Cabinet should consider,” King said in a written statement. “As they do so, they should weigh not only the current danger to the country, but the consequences that may come to bear if they choose inaction.”

Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 1st District, said it is imperative that Trump be removed from office immediately either under the 25th Amendment or through impeachment.

“It is really critical for him to be removed from office because he’s proven to be extremely dangerous to our country,” Pingree said in an interview. “What happened was unconscionable and to let it go even though he has less than two weeks left, it would be like saying we don’t care what is right or wrong in this country.”

“There’s a high level of anger and division, but a lot of the problems facing our country could be solved and people’s lives would be better simply by having competent people in office to deal with COVID and vaccine distribution and helping schools or administering justice,” she added, referring to the incoming Biden administration.

Pingree co-sponsored two separate House resolutions to impeach the president and in a statement Thursday night reiterated her call for leadership to immediately reconvene the House to “reckon with this assault on our democracy.”

Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, wasn’t available for comment Thursday, his office said. His spokesman referred to a statement Golden issued Thursday that implied he had not yet taken a firm position on impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

“There is bipartisan agreement that yesterday’s events were unacceptable. As I said then, the president is responsible for yesterday’s violence and lawlessness, and he should be held accountable,” Golden said in the statement. “There are many different forms of accountability, and Congress must engage in a discussion about what is on the table, and how best to work towards action that can be taken with majority support, if not more. Finding a way to act together will send a message to America and to the world that our democracy remains resilient and that we are united by a common purpose to protect it.”

“I have already begun conversations with colleagues in both parties, and in the days ahead, I will continue to work with members in both the House and Senate to try to build consensus on how we can bring about accountability for yesterday’s terrible events and ensure that they are not repeated in the future,” he added.

Maine’s senior U.S. senator, Republican Susan Collins, wasn’t available for an interview, her staff said, and her positions on impeachment or the 25th Amendment action were not clear Thursday. Thursday morning she told talk radio station WVOM that the president needed to accept the election results “and encourage the country to move on.”

“I am confident that the new president will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, as the Constitution provides, and we need to work together, all of us, in towns across America, to heal the deep divisions in this country, and to work on the pressing problems facing our nation,” she said.

In a statement, spokesman Christopher Knight noted Collins had a longstanding working relationship with President-elect Joe Biden and was a champion of bipartisanship. “At a time when large segments of the American people feel alienated from each other, we should avoid pursuing courses of action that will reinforce the polarization in our country and instead search for common ground,” Knight’s statement said.

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